Guest Post: ‘Historical Futures’ by Alex Wood and Cheryl Papasian

Historical Futures at The Apricot Gallery, (just off Brick Lane). Four Chelsea MA Fine Art graduates take sculpture and the skills in making to new heights. In conjunction with MOCA London, featuring Blair Cahill alongside MiAL artists Cheryl Papasian, Necole Schmitz & Alex Wood. Here Cheryl and Alex share some thoughts on their forthcoming exhibition. 

EXHIBITION OPENs May 2 – May 9 11-6PM
Vernissage Sunday 3 May 6-8PM
First Thursday PV 7 May 6-8PM
Finissage Saturday 9 May 6-8PM


Historical Futures brings together four artists who employ time consuming processes of making to explore ways which traditional media can be relevant in the contemporary world. Using techniques such as embroidery, lost wax bronze casting and ceramics, they examine how these ways of working can fit into artists’ practice today. The care and time taken in making these objects becomes part spectacle and part methodology for thinking and problem solving. These works seek to address both the historical weight the materials themselves have as art objects and how permanency and labour effect our interactions with the objects themselves.

The artists all feel that craftsmanship and making is intrinsic to their practices, and all being Chelsea college of art MA Fine art graduates find the MiAL exhibitions and online platform very exciting.

B.Cahill_Sphere_30(B)Blair Cahill uses intricate embroidered panels and machined steel structures to create imagery that references poetic narrative. Cahill’s practice combines the use of traditional elements with modern techniques.

Her career as a film Art director and Production designer affords her a unique perspective on the Arts and then attended the University of Arts London, Chelsea for her MA in Fine Art. This further established her individual style of combining elements of colour and light. In addition to studying at Art Center College of Design she was awarded a Digital Fabrication Residency which facilitated exploration of the boundaries of sculpture, tradition and technology. Cahill has lectured at the Collage Artists of America and her work is held in private collections internationally.

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Cheryl Papasian meticulously creates geodes and ores out of bronze and ceramic to examine ideas of value in conjunction with the mass-produced everyday object.

Cheryl is a London based sculptor juxtaposing handcrafted bronze, aluminium and ceramic objects with mass-produced objects. Her sculptures and installations comprise high and low sculptural materials with an excess of artificiality and luxury, She has an MA Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art 2013, is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and has been shortlisted for the Red Mansion Prize 2014 and Future Map 2013. Cheryl has been artist in residence in Japan, Beijing and Scotland in 2013 and 2014. She has a studio in London and exhibits in the UK and internationally.

image2Necole Schmitz uses hand building methods and traditional knotting techniques to make sculptural ceramic vessels and primitive weapons.

Necole recently completed a master’s degree in fine art at Chelsea College of Art in London earning a distinction. She previously studied painting at Boston University and has exhibited widely in both Europe and the United States. Schmitz’s work uses sculpture, installation and performance to explore ideas surrounding interactions between the artist and viewer in the context of the experiential use of space. Schmitz currently lives and works in London.image3

Alex J Wood’s work juxtaposes ephemeral paper models and bronze sculptures creating eccentric narratives.

Alex was recipient of The Patrick and Kelly Lynch Scholarship in 2013, where his work is held, as well as in various other private collections both in Europe and the USA. He was shortlisted for The Clifford Chance Sculpture Award in 2013 and 2014 and in February 2015 he made the shortlist for The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award. Alex J Wood has been resident artist at Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan, where he exhibited in the ‘Down the Dori’ exhibition in Tokyo and London. He has also had artist residencies in Beijing, PRC and Camberwell college of arts. He was recently commissioned by Penguin Books to create a sculpture for Foyles Flagship store.